Weird

Iconic Italian Car's Rusty License Plate Brings Lottery Gold

A car that became famous in Italy because it had been parked in the same spot since 1974 helped bring some luck to a Sicilian shopkeeper.

photo of old car in front of the building

Of course the Lancia Fulvia was also there when the Google Streetview car came by...

Screenshot - Google street

We humans have a thing for old cars. We also appreciate a prime parking spot. But what do you do if you find a nice old car occupying the same parking spot for 47 years? Well, you jot down its license plate number for good luck! Let us explain...


Last month in Conegliano, in northeast Italy, city officials decided it was finally time to resolve a question that had been gathering dust for decades. Back in 1974, Angelo Fregolent, who is now 94, had parked his 1962 Lancia Fulvia outside the newsstand he ran with his wife.

Fregolent never drove the sporty car, but he liked having it there because he could use the trunk to hold newspapers and magazines that were delivered each morning.

A plot twist from Palermo

When he retired, as the regional daily Il Gazzettino reports, he simply left the aging Lancia in the same place, which was also right next to the apartment where he and his wife lived. Every year, he would pay the automobile registration and insurance fees, and have the luxury of seeing his "baby" as he passed by to run errands or go to the local bar. It also became something of a local (true) urban legend.

But as parking rules have changed, Conegliano's city authorities finally insisted that the car be removed. Fregolent agreed when he was told that the car would be restored, and turned into a tourist attraction. The small-town story made both national news, and even got some press abroad.

But here comes the final twist: The story of the legendary Lancia reached to the extreme south of Italy, in the Sicilian capital of Palermo. There, as Italian-language local daily TrevisoToday reports, a tobacco shop owner saw the number of the license plate (TV 202277), and decided to play it on the weekly lottery.

When 20, 22 and 77 were the first numbers drawn on the national wheel, the Sicilian shopkeeper won 4,500 euros. That kind of luck beats winning a brand new car!

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Coronavirus

Texas In Germany? Saxony Mixes Anti-Vaxxers And Far-Right Politics

When it comes to vaccination rates, there are striking parallels between Germany and the United States. The states with the most opposition to vaccines differ politically from those with the highest vaccination rates. Now the consequences for booster shots are starting to become visible, especially in the United States.

A protest in Saxony last year against COVID-19 restrictions

Zentralbild/dpa via ZUMA
Daniel Friedrich Sturm

-Analysis-

WASHINGTON — Ok, so Saxony was singled out last week in a New York Times article as an example of the disastrous vaccination situation in parts of Europe. The article talks about the link between anti-vaxxers and the political success of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the eastern German state.

In a sense, Saxony is Germany's Texas. For instance, 59% of U.S. citizens are fully vaccinated, but in strictly Republican Texas, where Donald Trump overwhelmingly won the 2020 election, this figure stands at 54%.

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We are grateful for reader support to continue our unique mission of delivering in English the best international journalism, regardless of language or geography. Click here to contribute whatever you can. Merci!
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